How to reignite the fire in your marriage

Couple
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Don’t continue living in a loveless and passionless marriage. Dr. Louise van Coller, a marriage and family counsellor has tips to spice up and keep the spark alive in your marriage.

There’s no doubt about it – marriage takes hard work. After years of being together, many couples lose the spark in their marriage. Even though the love might still be there, couples may find that there is no more excitement.

Dr. van Coller warns that the following could indicate that your marriage is in danger:
– Once the couple realises that they are spending less and less time together.
– When there are more fights than fun in the relationship.
– Doing things on your own or with friends and not your partner. Sometimes friends can be a good outlet, but it can become a pattern and couples may find that they don’t spend enough time together.
– Bringing lots of work home or working at night and not really having quality time.
– Not knowing how to spend two to three hours alone with each other without having wine or having friends as backup.
– Not spending holidays alone and not being able to just be in each other’s company.
– Sleeping in different rooms or different beds.
– When couples realise that they don’t need each other.
– When partners don’t have fun and the marriage just becomes quite serious.
– A bad sex life. Having sex once or twice a month could be considered a bad sex life.
– Not getting excited about each other anymore.
– A lack of communication. Not actually sitting and talking after work and really sharing things. Spending so much time with the kids that they make little or no time just to spend time together.

But the good news is that not all is lost and you can save your marriage. Dr. van Coller says “if one person’s attitude changes, many times it ignites the other person as well to try and fill in or to get excited or to enjoy the newness of the other partner.”

Let’s help you get back the fun, the passion, and the intense love you used to feel with these tips from Dr. van Coller.

Know each other’s love language
“The first thing that I advise is to read the book of ‘The five love languages’ and to find out exactly what it is that the other person needs that maybe they have been missing,” says Dr. van Coller.
The book talks about five ways to express love to your partner in a way he or she will understand. The five love languages are; words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.

Schedule time for your partner
“Make regular quality time appointments in your diary. People carry on with work, life, and children and forget to make appointments to really go out on date nights without friends and to just spend quality time alone.”

Have sex regularly
Sex plays a major role in relationships. Dr. van Coller suggests that couples should have sex at least once or twice a week. “Obviously, I’d say try to have more sex and intimacy and whatever it was that your partner used to love, or your partner’s love language is. Discuss with your partner what used to turn him or her on. The frequency of how many times you would have sex will depend on age and other factors, but at least try have it once or twice a week.”

Dr. van Coller says people should talk openly about sex, however, she says that it’s normally easier when a therapist can help a couple through it as many times there are parts that people don’t openly talk to each other about for the fear of conflict.

Understand your partner’s personality
“Many times we sort of understand each other but we don’t really know what each personality type needs. What I always do with people is personality analysis to see what their similarities are and what each personality type needs and what they want in a relationship. That normally helps a lot.”

Go on vacation
“I’d advise people to go away on holiday without the kids at least once a year just to see why they actually chose each other and they chose to love each other. Many times they actually rediscover what it was that pulled them together because something I often see is that the same initial ingredient is still there in the relationship, and therefore they need to find it back and that’s not as difficult as they think. People seem to need to have help to see it.”

Say a prayer
“Pray. Ask God to help rekindle your partner’s heart and then pray that God would open your eyes as to what to do or say to turn your partner on.”